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02.09.2005 Regional News

Ban drug adverts on radio - Pharmacist

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Saltpond, Sept. 2, GNA - Mr Derrick Owusu-Ambrose, Pharmacist of the Saltpond Government Hospital, has called for the banning of drug advertisements on Radio stations.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Saltpond, he appealed to the Ghana Pharmacist Board and the Food and Drugs Board to ensure that such advertisements were stopped. Mr Owusu-Ambrose also urged the law enforcing agencies to check the peddling of drugs in vehicles and other places to discourage self medication, which was one of the greatest challenges to health-care delivery in the country.

The Pharmacist who is a member of the Assin South District Assembly and Vice Chairman of the North and South Assin Districts Mutual Health Insurance Scheme, noted that it had now became the practice of Radio Stations to diagnose diseases and prescribe drugs for patients. He stated that the law banning the prescription of drugs for diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and sexually transmitted infections STS on radio was not being adhered to, adding that, "it is being abused with impunity".

Mr Owusu-Ambrose stated that the peddling of drugs started with herbal preparations but had now changed to include orthodox medicine. He stated that the peddlers often confused people to believe that one medicine could cure as many as 10 different diseases. Mr Owusu-Ambrose said, "innocent people have been made to have faith in these peddlers most of them unlicensed so much so that they refused to patronise health institutions".

He stressed that if immediate steps were not taken to arrest the situation, their activities would have a negative effect on the national health insurance scheme.

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